[ REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5204, June 15, 1968 ]
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 24, 32, 33 AND 37 OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED TWO HUNDRED NINETY-SIX, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS "THE JUDICIARY ACT OF 1948", AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Section twenty-four of Republic Act Numbered Two hundred and ninety-six, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 24. The Court of Appeals.—The Court of Appeals of the Philippines shall consist of a presiding justice and twenty-three Associate Justices who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the Congress. The Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals shall be so designated in his commission, and the other 'Justices of the Court shall have precedence according to the date of their respective commissions, or when the commissions of two or more of them shall bear the same date, according to the order in which their commissions have been issued by the President of the Philippines: Provided, however, That any member of the Court of Appeals who has been reappointed to that court after rendering service in any other branch of the government shall retain the precedence to which he is entitled under his original appointment and his service in the court shall, to all intents and purposes, be considered as continuous and uninterrupted.
"The Presiding Justice and the Associate Justices of the Court of Appeals shall not be removed from office except on impeachment upon the grounds and in the manner provided for in Article IX of the Constitution.
"The Court of Appeals shall, as a body, sit in bane, but it may sit in eight divisions of three justices each. The eight divisions may sit at the same time."
SEC. 2. Section thirty-two of the same Act is hereby also amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 32. Place of holding sessions.—The Court of Appeals shall have its permanent office in the City of Manila. Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice, with the certification of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals and when public interest demands, the Supreme Court of the Philippines may authorize any division or divisions of the Court to hold sessions periodically at such time and place outside the City of Manila as the Supreme Court may determine for the purpose of hearing and deciding cases originating from a specific group of judicial districts. Copy of the rule or resolution for the holding of sessions outside Manila shall be sent to the Secretary of Justice, who, upon receipt thereof, shall make the necessary arrangements with the provincial or national officers concerned to provide the divisions with appropriate halls, office spaces and accommodations for the holding of said sessions."
SEC. 3. Section thirty-three of the same Act is hereby also amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 33. Quorum of the Court.—Fifteen justices of the Court of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for its sessions in bane; and three justices shall constitute a quorum for the sessions of a division. In the absence of a quorum, the Court or the division shall stand ipso facto adjourned until such time as the requisite number shall be present, and a memorandum showing this fact shall be inserted by the clerk in the minutes of the Court. The affirmative vote of thirteen justices is necessary to pass a resolution of the Court in bane. The unanimous vote of the three justices of a division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a judgment. In the event that the three Justices do not reach a unanimous vote, the Presiding Justice shall designate two Justices from among the other members of the Court to sit temporarily with them, forming a division of five Justices, and the concurrence of a majority of such division shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a judgment.
"Every decision of the Court of Appeals shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues properly raised before it.
"All cases submitted to a division of the Court of Appeals for decision shall be decided or terminated therein within the term in which they were heard and submitted for decision: Provided, however, That when a case is complicated or otherwise attended with special circumstances which demand additional time for its study or consideration, the Court of Appeals, sitting in bane, may, upon petition of the division concerned, grant an additional period not exceeding two months for its disposition or termination."
SEC. 4. Section thirty-seven of the same Act is further amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 37. Appointment by Court of Appeals of deputy clerks of and other officers.—The Court may appoint eight deputy clerks of court, who shall have the same qualifications as those of the clerk of the Court of Appeals, with an annual compensation of eleven thousand one hundred pesos for the first deputy, and ten thousand eight hundred pesos each for the other deputy clerks, and other officers in such number and with such compensation as may be hereafter authorized."
SEC. 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved, June 15, 1968.